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America’s National Parks, The Rocky Mountaineer and Las Vegas

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Natural wonders and glamorous Las Vegas by rail.

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12 days From £4,195 per person
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2023 Tour code: CLJ23

About the tour

The Wild West landscapes of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada impress as we explore some of America's most magnificent national parks and take a thrilling adventure aboard the Rocky Mountaineer to the red rocks of Moab. Visit Monument Valley, discover the vast open landscapes of Arches National Park, see the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon and end your trip amidst the glitz of Las Vegas.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London and Denver

We begin our American adventure with a flight from London Heathrow to Denver, checking into our hotel for three nights on arrival.

Day 2 - Pikes Peak Cog Railway

We travel to the foothills of Pikes Peak, where we join the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the highest railroad in the states, to take us to the mountain's summit. We have time to soak up the panoramas, which on a clear day include five states. This afternoon, we transfer to the Garden of the Gods, a breathtaking park filled with striking red rock formations. We stop at the Visitor Centre and museum to learn about the area's history before embarking on a guided drive with a local ranger. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the unique 'Kissing Camels' rock configurations.

Day 3 – Georgetown Loop Railroad

We visit the Colorado Railroad Museum. Established in 1959 to honour Colorado's thriving rail era and pioneering mountain railways, the museum is fascinating to explore, and replicates an 1880s-style railway depot. We discover original photographs and paintings alongside displays that immerse us in local rail history, as well as a large collection of rolling stock and an impressive model railway. Later, we enjoy a taste of this rail heritage for ourselves with a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Completed in 1844, this line takes us back in time on a scenic journey through the Rocky Mountains between Georgetown and Silver Plume.

Day 4 - Rocky Mountaineer

Transferring to the station this morning, we board the renowned Rocky Mountaineer to begin our epic journey through some of America's most iconic and impressive landscapes. Leaving Denver, we settle in with breakfast at our seats, admiring views of the Rocky Mountains and Gross Reservoir dam before crossing the Continental Divide. In the afternoon, we continue along the Colorado River, seeing the dramatic gorges of Byers and Gore Canyon on our way to the town of Glenwood Springs. We disembark for a night at a local hotel.

Day 5 – Rocky Mountaineer

After re-boarding the Rocky Mountaineer, we pass the babbling waters of Parachute Creek and towering Mount Logan as we approach the red rock formations of Utah. Arriving in Moab, we check into our hotel. We then make our way into Arches National Park, home to over 2,000 otherworldly-looking stone arches. Here, naturally occurring sandstone structures frame distant snow-topped mountains and arid desert scrubland, and, as we explore, we learn about how these 65-million-year-old arches came to be. The rocks create a maze of orange-hued twists and turns, which we navigate as we see highlights such as the 'Balanced Rock', the 'Devil's Garden' and the 'Delicate Arch'. Tonight, we enjoy a special 'cowboy cookout' dinner.

Day 6 – Canyonlands National Park and Monument Valley

You have free time to explore Canyonlands National Park. Sights not to be missed include the 'Island in the Sky', known locally as 'the Needles' and Horseshoe Canyon, the site of some Native American cave paintings. We transfer by coach to Monument Valley, checking into our hotel for the night. This famous national park is home to giant red buttes and a seemingly endless expanse of red sand, giving it a Wild West feel. Even today, the region has the feel of a romanticised bygone age, and it's easy to imagine cowboys spending lonely months herding cattle across the untouched hills and Native Americans performing rituals passed through the generations.

Day 7 - Flagstaff

We visit Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, embarking on a Navajo-led tour that takes us to John Ford Point - where we enjoy panoramic views - and Navajo Hogan for a rug weaving demonstration. After lunch, we continue to Flagstaff for two nights. We stop at Walnut Canyon and the Park Wupatki National Monument. Walnut Canyon is a hidden gem that was forged by a creek over many millennia. It's possible to see cave dwellings that were used during the 12th and 13th centuries by the Sinagua tribe, before we explore the Native American ruins of the Wupatki National Monument and the red-rimmed crater of Sunset Volcano.

Day 8 – The Grand Canyon

We board the Grand Canyon Railway, which made its very first trip all the way back in 1901. We enjoy a nostalgic journey in restored vintage carriages through the striking Arizona desert to the Grand Canyon's South Rim. An incredible abyss carved from layer upon layer of different rock, each one containing clues to the past, the Grand Canyon is thought to be over five million years old and is one of the most jaw-dropping sights in the world. From its main viewing point, we're treated to some of the best possible views of the Canyon - from here, visitors can see for miles across the dramatic terrain.

Day 9 – Las Vegas

Joining the famed Route 66 as we leave Flagstaff, we begin the drive to fabulous Las Vegas, our home for two nights. We stop off at the Hoover Dam, an engineering masterpiece designed to end the constant flooding caused by the Colorado River. In 1930, construction began on the Dam, the largest of its kind at the time, and it was completed in less than five years. Named after America's 31st president, Herbert Hoover, it's still one of the country's largest hydro-electric power facilities. Back on board our coach, we head across the eerily beautiful Mojave Desert and, before long, the lights of Las Vegas appear on the horizon.

Day 10 - Las Vegas

Enjoy a free day to soak up the vibrant lights and sounds of Las Vegas for yourself. Also nicknamed 'Sin City', there's almost no end to the entertainment here, making it a favourite city for tourists looking to indulge in 'larger-than-life' America. Here, you'll find an incredible selection of elaborate resorts, grand casinos and over-the-top shows to enjoy, as well as the fantastically luxurious spas and high-end, celebrity favourite restaurants of the city's many outlandishly themed hotels.

Day 11 – Las Vegas and London

Our holiday draws to a close, and bidding farewell to Las Vegas, we transfer to the airport for our overnight flight back to London Heathrow.

Day 12 - London

Landing at London Heathrow, today your holiday comes to an end.

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Visa requirements
Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hilton Garden Inn Union Station, Denver

Hilton Garden Inn Union Station, Denver

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Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

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MGM Park Hotel

MGM Park Hotel, Las Vegas

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Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab

Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab

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Hampton Inn Kayenta Monument Valley

Hampton Inn Kayenta Monument Valley, Monument Valley

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Trains

Grand Canyon Railway
Pike's Peak Cog Railway
The Rocky Mountaineer

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Reviews

4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 2 reviews

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Mr D R Maddocks

3 stars

Submitted 09 Oct 2022

It would have been nice to have known beforehand that this was the first time this tour had taken place . We were called “ guinea pigs” on a number of occasions. The written itinerary was changed on several occasions and the lunch stops were hit and miss , on one occasion we ended up in a Walmart car park eating a sandwich. The lack of an included breakfast on day one before a full on day up the 2nd highest mountain in the US caused a number of jet lagged travellers to be ill . With all of the early starts it would have been far better to have had breakfast included . On one day the itinerary said breakfast was included but we were informed it was not .With all of the road travel a decent coach should have been provided rather than an old cramped bus . The mix of Uk people and Americans is a great idea , however some of the Americans did feel the tour was not very well organised .In conclusion we would have to say the scenery was quite spectacular and the itinerary of the Tour well put together . It’s a shame that poor pre-planning let it down for our experience .

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Mr David Ashton

5 stars

Submitted 07 Oct 2022

Brilliant journey by Rocky Mountaineer Train and Coach. The train has excellent service and food and great visibility to capture the Colorado River scenery. Then followed by the National Parks of "The Arches"; Canyonlands; Monument Valley and The Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Railway is also a really good trip and has lots of fun for the young ones. The final stage takes us via Route 66 into Las Vegas. A great way to finish off this holiday.

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America’s National Parks, The Rocky Mountaineer and Las Vegas

Natural wonders and glamorous Las Vegas by rail.

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